The number one way to raise environmentally aware kids is to let them fall in love with nature, using all their senses. Autumn throws up so many opportunities for them to do just that. Here are a few.
1. Hunt for signs of Autumn
Take a list of things to find this Autumn – leaves of different colours, shapes and sizes, empty nests, pine cones or squirrels – and head for a family walk. If you fancy creating a nature table or crafting with some of your finds, be sure to take a basket. Perhaps you’ll make a crown with Autumn leaves or play conkers for the first time.
2. Go blackberry picking
Now is the time to pick blackberries if you haven’t been already. Watch out for those brambles but even a toddler can have a go at finding this delightful free food. We’ve always had lots of luck at Blaise Park but keep your eye out, brambles are everywhere. Once you’ve picked a few, an apple and blackberry session is in order, especially if you try the next activity on this list.
3. Join in a local apple day
Food, drink, apple pressing and sometimes live music, October is the month for apple days. Find out when your local community orchard or farm’s apple day is. We’ll be heading to one in Blagdon this year.
4. Find a muddy puddle for a good squish
There’s little quite as satisfying as donning your wellies and finding a lovely, muddy patch and having a good stomp. It’s truly good fun for all ages and plentifully available at this time of year. We’ve just ushered in Autumn with a squish in Leigh Woods.
6. Photograph the trees
Head out when the trees are at the height of their Autumn colours and take photographs. You could even try painting them when you get home. Westonbirt Arboretum is a classic spot for taking in the brilliance of this season.
7. Junk model a scarecrow
Autumn and scarecrows pretty much go hand-in-hand. Why not find some old clothes and bits headed for the recycling bin and junk model a scarecrow for your garden or allotment?
8. Head to a community Autumn celebration
There’s no better way to welcome in the season than with your community. Celebrate local food at Windmill Hill City Farm’s Eat Local event, book in to The Community Farm’s free Autumn Wellness Day this October and see what other community celebrations may be on this season.
9. Throw a party in the woods
Make the most of the early nights and have a party in the woods. Gather around a campfire, joining in a forest school’s spooky fun for Halloween or pack hot chocolate in a thermos and quietly search for nocturnal animals with some friends.
10. Build a bug hotel in your garden
This is the perfect time of year for building a shelter for bugs. Hunt for straw, hollow stems and bark, then re-purpose old plant pots and other junk to give dragonflies, woodlice, newts and even hedgehogs a place to hide away for the colder months.